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Scientology founder breaks silence

DENVER -- L. Ron Hubbard, founder of the Church of Scientology, broke a 15-year silence to assure his followers he is alive and to restate his opposition to nuclear proliferation, the Rocky Mountain News reported.

In its Sunday editions, the newspaper published a copyright article giving Hubbard's written answers to questions submitted by reporter Sue Lindsay through his attorneys. Hubbard wrote a cover letter in his own hand to assure Lindsay she had 'an exclusive' and 'to alleviate any concern others may have' about the interview's authenticity.

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Ms. Lindsay began seeking an interview with Hubbard in 1980, when she wrote a five-part series on Scientology. Last fall, associates of Hubbard said he might agree to a written interview in conjunction with publication of his latest science fiction novel, 'Battlefield Earth,' which is set in Denver.

A forensic chemist from the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms developed a special ink, which was put into a pen and given to Hubbard through intermediaries. The chemist verified the letters were written in the special ink, and an independent expert certified the letters were in Hubbard's handwriting.

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In addition to the letters to Ms. Lindsay, Hubbard also wrote two letters to California courts assuring them he is 'alive and well and working at my own trade.' Hubbard's estranged son, Ronald DeWolf, filed petitions last November asking his father be declared dead or mentally incompetent.

'The last time I saw him (DeWolf) was, I believe, in 1959 in Washington, D.C.,' Hubbard wrote. 'He would not be in a position to know about me or the church or my activities or any related matters.'

Hubbard's attorneys have claimed he is too busy writing a 10-volume sequel to 'Battlefield Earth' to appear in court personally to clear up the question of his well-being. In his letter, Hubbard said he could not take time away from his writing chores.

'As a writer, to do one's job, one can't be involved in the constant noise and hurly-burly of distracting things,' he said.

Hubbard also dismissed claims his financial affairs and personal fortune were being mishandled by himself or by the church.

'There should be no concern on your part about my health, which is good, my existence or anything of the sort because I simply have my work to do and I would risk breaking contracts if I did not complete it,' he wrote.

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One of Lindsay's questions referred to Hubbard's 'Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health,' in which he outlined the effects of radiation on the body and the dangers of nuclear war. He was asked if he was encouraged by the recent resurgence of opposition to nuclear arms.

'I was concerned about the development of nuclear weapons as soon as they were announced because man has never demonstrated the sanity to warrant confidence,' he wrote.

'When the weapon was a club or spear, the effect was only in the vicinity of the warrior. When gunpowder was introduced, the sphere of effect widened with greater space. With nuclear weapons, the effect is not simply one of greater space. The effect extends in time -- radiation passed on to generations yet unborn.'

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